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I Am Abel Foundation presents Health and Medical Careers Conference

Culminates With Student Gala

The I Am Abel Foundation (IAAF) presents the Second Annual Health and Medical Careers Citywide Conference on Saturday, April 21, 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., at Rush University Medical Center, Searle Conference Center, 1725 W. Harrison St., Fifth Floor, Chicago, Ill.

The free event is for aspiring physicians, nurses and allied health professionals who are in high school, college or are post baccalaureate, and for their parents.

“We want students to consider careers as doctors, nurses or allied health professionals. We want to instill in them that they are able,” said I Am Abel Foundation Founder LaMenta “Sweetie” Conway, MD, MPH.

Students will learn about college curriculum and admission criteria for pre-med, nursing and allied health, attend “how to” workshops on navigating careers in health care, and network with physicians and other medical professionals.

They will tour the anatomy lab where med students study the human body.

Additionally, students can learn about careers in medical research, study abroad opportunities, and tips on mastering the MCAT exam.

Pre-med students can register in advance for one-on-one academic advisor sessions. Register at For information, email [email protected] or call 866-600-6959.

Day Includes Student Gala

At 6:30 p.m., in the same venue, the I Am Abel Foundation hosts the Third Annual Preparing Our Successors in Medicine Student Gala fundraiser. The program honors approximately 30 newly-inducted scholar mentees and ongoing students in IAAF’s Urban Bridges Medical Mentoring Program.

The gala event also pays tribute to two special honorees. Dr. Sunny Nakae, Assistant Dean of Admissions, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, will receive the Hero in Healthcare Award.  Her leadership in a “wholistic admissions process” resulted in more than 34 African-American students being admitted in the 2016 class at Loyola.

Emelin Garcia, a 3rd year medical student at Loyola Stritch School of Medicine and DACA student, will be honored with the Still Standing Award. Though Emelin faces uncertainty in her ability to remain in the country, she has performed at the highest standards while mentoring IAAF scholar mentees following in her footsteps.

The evening features a cocktail hour, dinner, dancing, live jazz with legendary saxophonist Ronnie G and a live auction with a chance to win dinner with an NBA superstar from Chicago. Tickets and tables are available. Visit, e-mail [email protected] or call 1-866-600-6989.

The I Am Abel Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that seeks to bridge socioeconomic gaps and promote achievement among underrepresented minority youth.

Through camps, conferences, internships and mentoring programs, IAAF seeks to increase exposure, education and opportunities for students in math and science, ecology, business and education with a strong emphasis on developing a pipeline to careers in medicine.


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